Your company’s human resources department could get less human
Steven Overly, Washington Post

Some of the questions you ask your human resources department could soon be answered by, well, non-humans.

That’s the concept behind Talla, a Boston-area start-up that has developed a chatbot to do some of the more mundane tasks that HR departments carry out on a daily basis. That includes explaining company policy, surveying employees, collecting information or training new hires.


The number of workers joining the gig economy has slowed dramatically, says study
Harriet Taylor, CNBC

Growth in the number of workers joining the gig economy has slowed and wages for these jobs have declined in the last two years, according to a new study from the JPMorgan Chase Institute.

Slowing growth is happening both at companies that let people sell or lease assets — like eBay and Airbnb — as well as ones that connect workers with part-time jobs — like Uber, Lyft or TaskRabbit — the study found. For the average worker, dwindling paychecks are the new reality.

Post no bills? Employers have to post plenty!
Stephanie Underwood, Employment & Labor Insider

This year is ending with quite a few changes in various federal workplace posters. To ensure that employers, especially federal contractors, have kept up with the required changes, here is a summary.

Targeting FMLA fraud and abuse: 10 ways to reduce subtle FMLA abuse
HR Daily Advisor

Rooting out the more subtle types of FMLA abuse takes, first of all, diligence on your part to track patterns of leave. Keep an eye out for absences that tend to be concentrated in particular departments or with certain individuals as well as those that occur disproportionately in conjunction with weekends, holidays, or paydays.

Evidence of a pattern of abuse is usually going to be circumstantial rather than medical, so you need to track such evidence over a long enough period so as to demonstrate that the suspicious absences are due to more than mere coincidence.

Women in the Workplace 2016
McKinsey & Company

Women in the Workplace 2016 is a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. The study is part of a long-term partnership between LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company to give companies the information they need to promote female leadership and foster gender equality in the workplace.

132 companies employing more than 4.6 million people shared their pipeline data and completed a survey of HR practices. In addition, 34,000 employees completed a survey designed to uncover their attitudes on gender, job satisfaction, ambition, and work-life issues.

Stop meditating alone – for productivity gains, it’s a team sport
Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company

A survey by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health predicts that 22% of Fortune 500 companies will use mindfulness or brain training at the workplace by the end of the year, as a way to improve employee health and productivity, decrease absenteeism, and enhance quality of life. And the survey suggests that this number could double in 2017.

Employers offering ‘insurance on insurance’
Michael O’Brien, HRE Daily

For many workers, the WSJ notes, paying for healthcare has become “such a difficult budgeting exercise that the insurance industry is marketing additional products to help.” This gap insurance, also known as supplemental or voluntary insurance, is designed to provide extra coverage for things like hospital stays, unexpected accidents or treatment for acute illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. The policies are also designed to help cover the cost of high deductibles or copays for treatment—the gap that employees face before their health insurance kicks in.

More HR news of note


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